Members of the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights have expressed their concern over rising homophobic sentiments in Hungary. Their statement follows reports that police have banned the 2012 Pride march in Budapest and that the Hungarian far-right political party Jobbik has submitted anti-gay laws to the country’s parliament.
Ulrike Lunacek, MEP and co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights declared: 'These repeated attempts to ban the march impede on freedom of assembly! The police can argue all they want, the Metropolitan Court already ruled the pride march legal by Hungarian standards.
'It's shameful for conservative powers to wage such a war against an even which most Hungarians really have no problem with - especially at a time when real issues like increasing poverty should the centre of public attention.'
Adding to Lunacek's comments, Sophie in 't Veld, the vice-president of LGBT Intergroup says: 'The ban on the pride for the second year in a row is a sad development in a country that used to distinguish itself by its climate of freedom and tolerance. The ban is a shameful attempt to deny LGBT people their human rights, as well as a misguided provocation of the EU.
'The Hungarian government should not further contribute to a climate of homophobia that the likes of Jobbik feed on, but they should become the champion of LGBT rights and regain that reputation of a free, tolerant, modern nation.'
Hungary has been hit by a wave of financial problems and political controversies over the past few months. The national airline Málev was declared bankrupt earlier this year and last week the Hungarian president Pál Schmitt resigned after it was revealed he had plagiarised his doctorate.